EUROfusion's new traveling exhibition opens in Marseille

After a celebratory inauguration event in Marseille, the new traveling science exhibition Fusion, Power to the People is ready to bring the story of fusion all across Europe.

 

In Les Docks Village in Marseille, a puzzling poster graces the hallways: "Einstein didn't write E = mc2". (In fact, he wrote: "If a body gives off the energy L in the form of radiation, its mass diminishes by L / c2" in his seminal 1905 paper Ist die Trägheit eines Körpers von seinem Energiegehalt abhängig?) It's just one of the teasers meant to draw in people to discover the secrets of fusion in the three sections of EUROfusion's new exhibition Fusion, Power to the People.

What is the source of the Sun's immense energy? Can we use that process to build a clean, safe sustainable power plant here on earth? And how would that change our energy future? EUROfusion's provocative new traveling science exhibition answers these questions and more.

Five years in the making, Fusion: Power to the People is a tour de force: not satisfied with just showing scientific explanations and experiments, it includes puzzles, games and cross-media elements both to make for a great experience and to make it as easy as possible to absorb all the different facets of fusion. The exhibition intentionally gives visitors the freedom to piece together their own understanding of fusion and its role in our energy infrastructure, so that they can learn about fusion the way they want to. Uniquely, the many videos visitors can unlock in an app mean that people can take the exhibition home with them and revisit content again whenever they want.

Inauguration

On Thursday 28 October, a festive inauguration ceremony in Marseille officially opened the new exhibition to the public. After speeches by representatives Jacques Vayron (Director of CEA Cadarache), Jérôme Bucalossi (Head of CEA’s Institute for Magnetic Fusion Research), Tony Donné (Programme Manager at EUROfusion) and Domenico Rossetti di Valdalbero (Deputy Head of the Euratom Research Unit, DG RTD, European Commission), participants had the opportunity to explore the exhibition themselves.

Exploring fusion

“We made this exhibition to introduce fusion to the public”, says Mohamed Belhorma, Outreach Officer at EUROfusion and lead designer of Fusion: Power to the People. “Together with our member CEA (the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission), we are thrilled to premiere this exhibition here in Marseille.”

After finding hidden videos via a custom smartphone app in the Radiant Matter section, visitors go on a scavenger hunt to learn about fusion technology in the control room setting of Power to the People. Finally, they get to take the reins in Escape the Strange Loop, where they make decisions that lead to one of many future scenarios for our planet.

Rounding out the experience is an art exhibition by six contemporary artists and a post-exhibition activity called Star Trail that invites visitors to develop and share their own opinion after watching different viewpoints on social and economic aspects of fusion energy.

I often get asked: how does fusion work? When will it be available? And how can we put it to use to create a strong sustainable energy system? This exhibition is one of the ways we want to share our insights into fusion - and get feedback from our visitors. I am very happy that the Fusion Expo is up and running. It is awesome and absolutely worth a visit!

Tony Donné, Programme Manager for EUROfusion

Knowledge of science is not equal across all parts of the European Union and all parts of society. With the opening of Fusion, Power to the People we bring fusion research closer to European citizens. This traveling exhibition is an excellent opportunity for young scientists and engineers to discover fusion research and pursue their careers in this field. This is crucial as we risk to face a shortage of qualified professionals in the nuclear field all over the EU. May Marseille be the starting point of a long journey of the fusion expo all around Europe!

Domenico Rossetti di Valdabero, Deputy Head of Unit at the European Commission, Research and Innovation (RTD)

We are proud to host the first exhibition of Fusion, Power to the People in Marseille. Our goal is to make Marseille a stage for the great public debates, to be a bridge between scientific insights and the challenges we face as a society. This exhibition with its goal of inviting debate about fusion energy fits perfectly in that mission.

Aurélie Biancarelli-Lopes, Deputy Mayor of Marseille in charge of research, student life and higher education